Improving Subscriber Acquisition with Front-Door Marketing

Driven by Competition, Cable Marketers Get Creative with Precise Targeting Strategies

Subscriber-Watching-TelevisionAdvances in cable television, broadband speeds and communications options are fueling the growth of today’s cable services industry. At the same time, economic issues and an ever evolving landscape are causing consumers to take stock and make choices carefully, evaluating not only varied options for telecommunications service – such as MSOs (Multiple System Operators), digital satellite providers and telephone companies – but also their choices within the preferred company’s menu of services. In this highly competitive space, cable operators have seen their subscriber counts drop 3.8 percent to 23.2 million in the top 15 markets during the first quarter of 2011, according to SNL Kagan.

Furthermore, customer churn is an industry-wide problem, and new subscriber acquisition is a constant challenge for marketers. Advertising in traditional media like television, radio, and newspaper can be effective, but these methods are also overly broad and waste resources on audiences outside the subscriber footprint. Direct mail is inherently targeted, but can also be quite costly and not necessarily actionable. So what is the solution for marketers? 

Well, refining the direct option with response-driven front-door marketing is proving successful in meeting these challenges – leveraging improvements in data research, analysis and application for competitive advantage.  Today’s front-door marketing campaigns take a scientific approach that incorporates the same precise targeting methodologies as direct mail but remain focused on placing a relevant offer with only the most appropriate customers.

Tasked with growing their footprint while increasing their subscriber penetration, cable service providers are turning to this revitalized, grass roots medium. By leaving an ‘invitation’ at the front door, front-door marketing puts the message and corresponding offer directly in front of a captive audience – receptive and relaxed in their home environment where many purchasing decisions are being made. Additionally, the front door is distanced from the stacks of junk mail at the mailbox and the barrage of noise on the television and computer. With a targeted brand message and high-value offer in hand, subscribers are driven to give serious and immediate consideration to what has been presented.

Take the case of one of our telecommunications client whose regional team approached Power Direct to assist in promoting awareness of their branded fiber optics network among new and existing customers in two specific markets. Power Direct’s ability to quickly dispatch the campaign from start to finish within 14 business days was an important advantage for the cable service company. The recommended program delivered a printed 4-panel front-door media piece, which allowed the client to more fully convey the brand’s message and value proposition. Interested customers were then encouraged to call an 800 phone number printed on the inside. The client was also provided with a targeting recommendation that included targeting of zip codes with a high penetration of homes passed (homes within the cable provider’s footprint) to efficiently maximize the client’s reach.

What are your current media options for reaching new customers?

You may also be interested in reading more about our solutions for the Telecommunications industry here, or you can check out one of our case studies here.

Front-Door Creative Ideas for CPG Marketers

In our last post, we discussed why a media like front-door marketing which delivers to the home is crucial for CPG and shopper marketers to leverage in creating an integrated shopper experience. But how can an alternative, non-traditional media like this be incorporated into a full-fledge CPG campaign? Here, we’ll share three front-door ideas to help you get started.

Front-Door-Shopper-Marketing-Ideas1. Front-door Sample
Sampling through the front-door is a very targeted approach, different from in-store or event sampling which reach category non-users and therefore have wasted sampling. Other benefits of front-door sampling include a shorter lead time (usually 10 to 14 days), no duplication (such as occurs in-store with repeat booth visits), and efficient cost per targeted sample delivered. Front-door sampling campaigns can mimic the brand’s campaign creative to drive synergy from the the contact in-home through to the store.

2. Shopping List Door Hanger
Get the ultimate control with shoppers with a shopping list door hanger and dictate where shoppers go in-store. You can also highlight brands front and center by adding them as a “must-have” item on the shopping list or by offering a specific promotion. A shopping list door hanger is also a great way to tie-in various different products, such as a “Family Dinner Shopping List” which could outline all the different products needed to cook a family dinner.

3. Reusable Shopping Tote
A reusable shopping tote, delivered as a branded bag or packaged into a smaller shape, helps you gain brand impressions from the store all the way to the store. Shoppers will value a quality tote that is environmentally conscious and additional incentives can be tied into the tote (i.e. 5% discount if you bring it in-store). The tote can also serve as a vehicle to physically hold other offers and inserts. 

You may also be interested in this case study about how front-door marketing was leveraged to increase trial for a product launch.

The Path to Purchase Starts at Home

Shopper marketing was once thought of as a purely in-store experience, with specific outreach to consumers as they browsed aisles in an effort to close the deal. But marketers today are recognizing that shoppers arriving in the store are not completely blank slates waiting for the right marketing message to move their purchasing decisions. Much of their motivation to purchase starts at home and for any number of reasons.

How to drive shopper marketing with front-door mediaToday’s shopper marketing takes a broader approach, and includes a variety of tactics that touch, and ultimately engage, the consumer all along the path to purchase. Experts in the field now recognize that consumer motivation begins at home where media can be viewed and reviewed in a leisurely fashion.

This planning phase has culminated into the routine “shopping list” with ongoing Integer Group Research confirming that 43 percent of general market consumers “always” rely on a shopping list in an effort to save money. Research from the Grocery Manufacturers Association also confirms that more than 40% of shoppers make their brand-buying decisions before they get to the store, and nearly 95% of shoppers make lists and plan their purchases before they enter a store.

So what’s the opportunity for marketers? Delivering a targeted message and offer to shoppers at home can influence purchasing decisions and put brands on the consideration list.

Marketing to shoppers while they are at home drives awareness and consideration, trial and action, and loyalty and advocacy. Furthermore, research has shown that brand loyalty is built in the home. For example, a child grows up with loyalty to brands that the mother, usually the main shopper, buys.

Front-door marketing, one of few media with direct access to the home, is optimal for brands looking to create an integrated path-to-purchase experience. Starting with a targeted and uncluttered messages to the home (via door hangers, polybags, or samples), front-door marketing drives shoppers from the home to the next phase in the path, whether its to a website or in-store display. The traditional path-to-purchase picks up from there; by adding that front-end, in-home component, marketers gain an important, impactful point of contact that can successfully launch the shopper experience.

What do your shoppers’ paths-to-purchase look like, and are you maximizing every potential contact with them?

To learn more about Power Direct’s shopper marketing solutions to the CPG industry, visit our website here. You may also be interested in this case study about how front-door marketing was leveraged to increase trial for a product launch.